The Education Secretary has said it was "utterly wrong" for the headteacher of a leading primary school to have suffered abuse after banning the hijab for girls under eight.

Damian Hinds backed the right of school leaders to set their own uniform policies, saying they are in charge and should not be harassed as a result.

His intervention came after Neena Lall, head of St Stephen's primary in Newham, came under fierce personal criticism — which saw her likened to Hitler — after banning young pupils from wearing the Islamic headscarf in school. The decision was later reversed following the backlash from parents.

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